Why Adopt A Broken Leg Dog?

HerefordGC1Since the establishment of Craiger’s List in 2008, we have been finding homes for greyhounds that for one reason or another have been overlooked or not “chosen” by other adoption programs.  That is the shy, spooky, disabled, seniors, special needs hounds.  We find it hard to believe (based on our record) that people just do not want to adopt these types of dogs – although this is often what we hear.  People want to adopt them and they do.  Craiger’s List has been a huge success because it has proven to us that there are special people who will choose a greyhound that needs a little help over the pretty social butterflies – that, by the way, don’t take much effort to place.

We are finding it almost unbelievable that some people are coming to our organization and requesting dogs that have not had broken legs so that they will not have to face any potential medical problems in the future.   (Many times at our meet and greet event volunteers hear statements such as “You have a lot of broken leg dogs on your web site.”)  To us, that is like saying they want a guarantee that we will find them a perfect dog that will never have issues for the rest of its life.  We are good, but to be honest, that is beyond our capability.

If you search for greyhounds on our web site looking for homes (in the Featured Dog section), you will often see dogs with healed broken legs.  This seems to be a deal breaker for a lot of people.  This surprises us because these are the dogs that someone liked so much that they felt it was worth the cost and effort to fix the leg.  It takes a lot of expense and time to repair a broken leg.  It would be so much easier to just walk away from these dogs.

Many people do not understand that dogs with repaired broken legs are not disabled and most will go on to live a normal life.   All dogs may get arthritis as they age and it may not be just those with repaired broken legs.  All dogs can get cancer, develop eye problems and/or fall victim to any number of illnesses.   All greyhounds can break a leg running in the back yard (and some have), falling down stairs, etc.  Would an adopter not want to do all they could to get it medical help if something happened during the dog’s life?  Would they just walk away?  Perhaps some adopters would, but most would not.

Since we established our group in 2005, we have never turned away greyhounds with repaired broken legs.  One of the very first three greyhounds we brought in to our program when we began had a repaired broken leg.  We estimate that we have placed over 100 greyhounds with repaired broken legs.  All of these dogs found a home and had no further issues with the exception of two greyhounds that developed problems relating to hardware that was used to repair the legs.  There were no further problems.  We paid toward the surgery and each dog is doing fine.

Why overlook a dog that may be the best fit for your family and be the love of your life because of something that dog had no control over – a dog that we feel has as much value as any other dog.  Our mission will always be to find the very best home for every dog as each one deserves it.

Winter Safety Tips for Greyhounds

Magic Megan in DownWinter is here! Already, this winter, we have experienced much lower low temperatures and the next few months will see snow, ice and cold winds. While most of us who have greyhounds know that they need special care in the winter, we still want to send along some advice for keeping your hounds safe, warm and healthy.

Since most of our greyhounds (or at least we hope ALL) greyhounds are indoors most of the time, they are not used to going outside in frigid temperatures and their thin skin and lack of thick fur makes them more vulnerable to the frigid temperatures that winter brings.

Frostbite – Even though greyhounds have a fur coat, it is extremely thin and will not protect them from extreme elements. Most greyhounds cannot endure temperatures below freezing for more than 10 to 15 minutes. Greyhounds left outdoors can get frostbite and even freeze to death much sooner than other breeds of dogs that have heavier coats. Signs of frostbite include pale skin that is cool to the touch, with decreased sensation in the affected area. If you suspect frostbite, gently warm the area with warm – not hot – water and then take your greyhound to your veterinarian. Once an area has been frozen it becomes more susceptible to cold and frostbite. The bottom line is: do not allow your greyhound to stay outside long enough to put it in to any jeopardy!

If you have to go out for any length of time, please put a coat on your greyhound. Our rule of thumb is that, if we need a coat, our greyhound needs a coat. There are many coat makers around and it’s very easy to find them on the internet. If you cannot afford a coat but need one, please contact us immediately. We keep a stack of donated coats that we’d be happy to share with you!

Antifreeze: Although most people are aware of the fact that antifreeze is toxic to dogs, veterinarians still report that it continues to be a wide spread problem. We are sending along a reminder to keep garage floors and driveways clear of antifreeze spills and do not allow open containers of antifreeze anywhere near where your greyhound travels. If you suspect that your greyhound has been exposed to antifreeze, contact the ASPCA Poison Control Center or your veterinarian immediately

Snow and Ice: Everyone who has adopted a greyhound knows that they LOVE to run in the snow! They can run with abandon and sometimes can get hurt badly if they skid, fall and/or run into objects. Make sure that your yard is clear of items that cannot be seen in the snow but tripped over when a greyhound runs fast. Remember, a greyhound can reach up to 40 miles per hour in a few steps. It takes much more for them to slow down than it takes for them to get up to speed.

Because a greyhound has such thin skin, everyone knows how easily they can cut themselves. One hazard that we run into a lot involves snow that melts and re-freezes. When the greyhound walks on this type of surface, they can get cut easily when their weight causes them to fall through the coating of ice that’s formed over the snow. If they run, the cuts can even be bad enough to warrant stitches. Watch for these types of surfaces and keep greyhounds from running. Or better yet, leash walk your greyhound when these types of surfaces exist.

Ice/Snow Melting Products – If you don’t have a fenced in yard and you leash walk your greyhound, you already know that they can step in a lot of stuff outside, from salt to sleet and snow to mud. There is not much you can do except to avoid areas where there is a lot of salt. If you use salt to melt your own driveways and sidewalks, check to make sure that you are buying products that are safe for dogs. Once you bring your greyhound inside, take the extra time to clean and dry off paws. At that time look for cuts or abrasions and treat them.

Check fences and gates – More greyhounds are lost in winter than any other season because it’s so easy for them to lose their sense and perspective during a snowstorm if they get loose. Check gates more often to make sure the wind hasn’t blown them open; it is a good idea to walk your fence line to check for openings or areas where sections could be blown down. Losing a greyhound in the dead of winter is a recipe for disaster.

Be cautious when outside in the dark – Since there are fewer daylight hours in the dead of winter, many people have no choice than to be out with their greyhound in the dark of the morning or at night. Keep your hound closer than usual and make sure all leashes are in good condition and collars are properly adjusted. Be careful when crossing streets and alleys that your greyhound is close to your side and easier to see. Use reflective gear so both you and your hound are easier to spot.

We hope that all of our adopted hounds stay safe and warm!

New Year Checklist

Happy New Year copySince the New Year is here, we thought it would be a good idea to make up a check list of things that would help you get through the year and make sure your hound is safe, healthy, and happy.

___Be vigilant and look for signs that your hound is not feeling well. Consider a medical reason for sudden behavior changes first.

___Use heartworm/flea and tick preventative; add a reminder to your calendar monthly so you do not forget.

___Check gate latches daily; add signs on gates warning contractors or visitors to keep gates closed. Lock unused gates.

___Check fence lines for holes and depressions where a hound can crawl or slip through. Make repairs.

___Check all doors to make sure they close correctly. Add a baby gate to doors where a hound can jump out accidentally.

___Check the yard often to make sure nothing harmful has been dropped or thrown in it that your hound could eat.

___Make sure your hound does not get too cold or hot outdoors. Be watchful for signs of distress.

___Wash and change water bowls daily and make sure there is always a fresh supply of clean water available.

___When changing your hound’s food, make sure it is done slowly and wait a month before changing his/her diet again.

___Check vaccination records and make sure all are up to date; add the date the shots are due on your calendar .

___Check collars monthly for wear and tear and loose hardware. Replace worn collars.

____At all times, keep your own ID tag as well as the FFGR, Inc. ID tag on your hound(s).

___Inspect leashes often and replace leashes that have slits in them or are fraying.

___Make sure no tags are on the D-ring that tightens the collar. Use a tag collar or place tags elsewhere on collar.

___Check weekly to ensure the collar is adjusted properly. Test by bringing the collar up to behind the ears. Pull D-ring to tighten collar. You should be able to place two fingers inside the loop at the dog’s neck.

___Inspect all toys often; discard old ones; keep fiberfill away from your hound so it cannot be ingested.

___When repairing plush toys, use only upholstery or breakable thread; do not use nylon or polyester thread that, when swallowed, can be caught in the digestive tract.

___Throw away all rubber toys that can be easily chewed up into small pieces and swallowed.

____Regularly inspect bones and rawhides; throw away all small and old pieces; replace with new ones.

___Keep your hound’s nails clipped; do not allow them to get so long that your hound has a hard time walking.

___Check ears weekly to make sure they are clean; watch for scratching and pawing at the ears and head shaking (sign of infection).

___Check constantly to make sure that any cleaning products, medications, etc. are high up on shelves and out of the way of your hound. Keep counters clear of same.

___Put together a contingency plan NOW for boarding your hounds, etc. in case an emergency comes up.

___Consider NOW what would happen to your hound(s) in case you get sick, have an accident, lose your home, die, etc. Give the information to someone you trust.

_____Love your hounds as they love you!!!!